Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Weekly Digest

The following front-page stories received the most comments during the preceding week.

President Donald Trump lashed out at Puerto Rico, where 84 percent of the territory remains without power after Hurricane Maria, warning residents on Thursday that he may abandon relief efforts. Trump's latest attack appeared to blame the Puerto Rican government for laying the groundwork for a difficult recovery. He also quoted Sharyl Attkinson, a TV host with the conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group, to criticize Puerto Rico's "total lack of accountability." read more

President Donald Trump plans to cut subsidy payments to insurers in his most aggressive move yet to undermine Obamacare after months of unsuccessful repeal efforts on Capitol Hill, according to two sources. The subsidies, which are worth an estimated $7 billion this year and are paid out in monthly installments, may stop almost immediately since Congress hasn't appropriated funding for the program. Scrapping the funding is likely to provide another jolt to the already fragile Obamacare markets. The impact may be cushioned by the fact that many insurers had priced next year's plans higher than they otherwise would have, fearing this decision. Others have already fled the Obamacare markets, which are set to begin open enrollment in Nov. 1 for the 2018 plan year. read more

Frustrated by Congress's inaction on ObamaCare repeal, President Trump is taking a big political risk in using his authority to dismantle the health-care law piece by piece. Democrats say Trump now owns ObamaCare, bearing responsibility for any problems that arise in the system, including higher premiums and insurer exits. "Republicans in the House and Senate now own the health-care system in this country from top to bottom," Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a press call Friday. "Their destructive actions and the actions of the president are going to fall on their backs." The administration announced late Thursday evening that it wouldn't continue ObamaCare insurer payments, a decision that could come back to haunt Republicans politically. read more

The toll from Northern California's ranging wildfires continued to grow Tuesday evening as officials said the fires destroyed up to 2,000 structures and killed at least 17 people. The devastating losses establish firestorms among the most destructive in California history. The estimated losses of homes, businesses and other buildings jumped from 1,500 to 2,000, and officials fear the death toll will also continue to rise. Sonoma County alone has received about 200 reports of missing people since Sunday night, and sheriff's officials have located 45 of those people, said county spokeswoman Maggie Fleming. The majority of the fatalities are from Sonoma County, where huge swaths of the city of Santa Rosa were leveled by the Tubbs fire. Eleven people have died in Sonoma County as of 7 p.m. Tuesday, officials said. Two people have died in Napa County, three in Mendocino County and one in Yuba County, Cal Fire officials said.

In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, most Americans -- regardless of party -- favor tightening restrictions on firearms, according to a new NPR/Ipsos poll. ... Eight-in-10 Americans told the pollsters they favor bans on assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines and "bump stocks," an accessory used by the Las Vegas shooter that allows a semi-automatic rifle to fire like an automatic weapon. Eight-in-10 likewise said they favor a federal database to track all gun sales. On each of these questions, majorities of Democrats, independents and Republicans all were in favor of the restrictions to some degree.

Russell Berman, The Atlantic: The regretful Republicans of Kansas have a message for the tax-cutting Republicans of Congress: Don't follow our lead. If states are, as Justice Louis Brandeis famously called them, the laboratories of democracy, then Kansas's experiment in conservative tax reform set off an explosion of red ink. Steep cuts for businesses and individuals failed to produce a promised economic boom, and busted the state's budget instead. Now, the GOP legislators that oversaw -- and ultimately cancelled -- that fiscal study are increasingly worried that Washington will ignore its central finding. read more

As [Jimmy Fallon] sticks to fluff and mostly apolitical humor, his ratings have nosedived in the face of his perceived neutrality. ... The ratings have proved that viewers are deserting The Tonight Show, too. Where Fallon once towered above his 11.35 p.m. time-slot rivals, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel, he's now in danger of slipping into third place -- something that was unthinkable even 12 months ago. Fallon averaged nearly 4 million viewers a night in 2015, and almost 3.5 million the year after. In 2017, he's pulling in just over 2.5 million a show, a steep drop by Tonight Show standards. read more

[Fashion designer Donna] Karan was interviewed on the red carpet Sunday at the Cinemoi Fashion Film Awards in Hollywood and made comments to the Daily Mail which suggested that women may be "asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality." "I think we have to look at ourselves," Karan said. "Obviously, the treatment of women all over the world is something that has always had to be identified. Certainly in the country of Haiti where I work, in Africa, in the developing world, it's been a hard time for women. ... "To see it here in our own country is very difficult, but I also think how do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women," Karan said to the Daily Mail. "What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?" read more

Deadspin: Trump voters turned sharply against the NFL after Donald Trump criticized NFL player protests during the national anthem at a late-September rally in support of the Alabama senate candidate who lost to psychotic Charles Portis character Judge Roy Moore. Where Trump voters had once viewed the NFL roughly as Clinton voters did -- around 60 percent favorably, and around 20 percent unfavorably -- those percentages swiftly flipped almost upside down. read more

Sarah Kliff, Vox: [President] Trump is enacting a policy where the government spends billions more to insure fewer people. ... On health care, there are going to be immediate and very real consequences for Americans. There are real people who stand to be hurt by an administration that has actively decided to make a public benefits program function poorly. Trump has long predicted the implosion of the Affordable Care Act. It's now become clear he plans to use the White House to tear down his predecessor rather than to help the people who voted him into office.


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